The Allen Americans lost to the Idaho Steelheads 3-1 last night before a Friday night crowd of 2887 at the CUTX Event Center. It was an all too familiar outcome that pushed Allen’s record to 0-7 against Idaho this season. There wasn’t much to like about the game. Here are some examples:
- Idaho scored the first goal and now has a record when scoring first of 33-4-1-0.
- Idaho had a 1-0 lead after the first period and now has a record with a first period lead of 27-3-1-1.
- Idaho had a 3-1 lead after the second period and now has a record with a second period lead of 42-1-0-0.
- Idaho outshot Allen 41-21 and now has a record when outshooting opponents of 37-8-1-2.
- Allen was 0-3 on the power play.
- Allen tied the score 1-1 midway through the second period and then gave up the game winning goal just 12 seconds later.
– If you are looking for a silver lining for the Americans and reasons to stay positive for the third game of the series tonight, here is the list:
- Allen was perfect on the penalty kill (0-4).
- Allen held Idaho to fewer than five goals for the first time all season.
- Colton Hargrove, 72 points (35G, 37A) returns to the lineup tonight.
- Jack Combs, 82 points (31G, 51A) returns to the lineup tonight.
– Allen’s only goal was scored by Hank Crone who has tied Chad Costello for #2 all-time in goals scored in one season. Crone and Costello are tied with 41 goals. Next up for Crone is Gary Steffes, the all-time leader with 44 goals. Crone has scored 18 goals in his last 15 games.
– Game Recaps:
Allen Americans: https://allenamericans.com/media/americans-drop-3-1-game-to-idaho/
– Here are the video highlights posted to the ECHL website. The home team is responsible for cutting and posting the highlights which are supposed to include at a minimum all of the goals from both teams. Unfortunately, these highlights are more Allen highlights than game highlights: https://www.echl.com/en/video/2023/3/idaho-steelheads-vs-allen-americans—mar-24-2023-dcdldB2v
CHAD COSTELLO COACH’S COMMENTS
“They have a good team, no doubt about that. They have only lost nine regulation games all year.”
“We have our work cut out for us, but we will not give in. We have missed Hargrove and Combs a lot, but they will be back for the game tomorrow. I think we are in for a good game tomorrow.”
“I have already told the guys we don’t have time for one ounce of negativity. We have earned the right to battle for a playoff spot so let’s just do it.”
“We were outshot in the game but most of their shots came from the outside which is what we are trying to do. They are a big and relentless team. Their forwards get the pucks in, they don’t have any trick plays, they just get the puck deep and try to out man you. Our plan is to keep them from in front of our net. That means they will be able to skate inside the blueline and take a shot from distance and then we try to out compete them in front of our net.”
“Making the playoffs is not about me. I want to make the playoffs for the players. They have come from all over the world to play together. I am proud of them for being in this position to fight for a spot. I tell the players every single day I will do whatever it takes to win a championship. Making the playoffs is not the goal. It is a start, but the goal is to win a championship.”
“We have to continue to compete and compete hard. Every player has a different way to compete. Some use their brain and skills, and some use their bodies, speed and power. Whatever wins the puck is what we need to do.”
“Our game plan was to get the puck behind their defensemen and make them turn and go get it. Each line is built differently and has a different way of doing that.”
– Coach Costello always brings a player with him to his post-game meeting with season ticket holders and last night that player was rookie Jakov Novak who is a well-spoken young man who is about to earn his master’s degree in management. Here were some of Novak’s comments:
“To me the biggest thing tonight is we only had 21 shots. We have to shoot the puck more from all angles.”
“We had a lot of net front traffic, but the bounces just didn’t go our way. Tomorrow is a new day so look forward to that.”
“Our game plan tomorrow will be all angles, pucks to the net. The high percentage plays just weren’t there for us tonight. We have to go back to basics and get pucks to the goalie’s feet and drive to the net.”
“When we got pucks down low tonight, we were a little slow in protecting it. We need to use our body more or give it to the next guy. We were a little hesitant in finding the guy that was open. The game is so fast being a half a second slow can create a turnover.”
“There are times when you have to dump the puck. The blue line turnovers are huge because the transition game here is so fast. The game is all about possession.”
“The biggest thing I have seen playing pro compared to college is the players are bigger, stronger and faster. I have had to adjust to the speed a little bit in the first couple of games but after that it is just hockey. I have played the game for over 15 years, so it is just another day. The guys in the room made me feel really comfortable right away. When you feel comfortable it helps with confidence and confidence is key to help you make plays. Tomorrow is a new day and I like our chances.”
– Allen has an excellent chance against Idaho tonight with a stronger lineup and the Americans will be playing desperate hockey after losing four games to the Steelheads in the last two weeks. With a loss tonight Allen could fall as low as sixth place in the division. A good start will be imperative. Idaho is a great team under any circumstance, but the Steelhead playing style is tailor made for playing with the lead.
– Allen will have the same referee tonight, #6 John Lindner, for the third straight game. He hasn’t called a lot of penalties in the first two games, Allen a total of nine and Idaho eight. Both teams scored two power play goals in game one of the series and both were scoreless last night.
– Idaho has won eight straight games and needs to win seven of its final 10 games to set the all-time ECHL record for wins in a season. That is just one of many all-time records Idaho can set this season including most points, best winning percentage, most home wins and most road wins. The Steelheads will have plenty to play for down the stretch.
– Allen didn’t get much help last night and slipped down the standings again. The top and bottom teams moved further from the pack of five that are still very close. Here are the current standings by points with games remaining in parenthesis:
- 103 points – Idaho (10)
- 64 points – Kansas City (11)
- 64 points – Wichita (9)
- 62 points – Allen (11)
- 61 points – Utah (10)
- 61 points – Rapid City (11)
- 46 points -Tulsa (12)
– Timing is everything when you look at the schedule. The two hottest teams in the Mountain Division are Allen’s opponent this week and next week. Idaho has won eight straight games. Next week Allen travels to Rapid City for three games. The Rush have won six straight.
– Idaho has a record of 50-9-1-2 and may seem unbeatable to Allen fans. The fact is every team in the Mountain Division with the exception of Allen has beaten Idaho this season. The odds favor a win for the Americans tonight. Here are the points earned against Idaho by its division foes:
- 8 points – Utah (four wins)
- 5 points – Rapid City (two wins, one shootout loss)
- 3 points – Wichita (one win, one overtime loss)
- 3 points – Tulsa (one win, one shootout loss)
- 2 points – Kansas City (one win)
- 0 points – Allen
– There are 11 games on the schedule tonight. The Mountain Division teams in action in addition to Idaho at Allen are Rapid City at Fort Wayne, Wichita at Iowa and Tulsa at Kansas. Here is the ECHL Today with the previews: https://www.echl.com/en/news/2023/3/echl-today-march-25
DID YOU KNOW: With between 7 (Orlando) and 12 (Tulsa) regular season games remaining it’s time for ECHL playoff bound coaches to start thinking about playoff rosters.here are the basic rules for playoff rosters which are due on April 17:Playoff rosters consist of a maximum of 24 players – a 20-man active roster (must fit under the salary cap) and a four-man reserve list. Upon submission of its playoff roster, each team is required to include:1. a minimum of 17 active, available (i.e., not injured or on recall) skaters must be on the active roster, and at least two eligible goaltenders.2. a list of all other players who meet the playoff roster eligibility requirements, but who are unavailable at the time that playoff rosters are due to the league office due to recall to the AHL or NHL. The playoff eligible list may only list players who are unavailable due to recall. All other players (i.e., injured players) must be listed on a team’s initial playoff roster (active roster or reserve list) in order to participate in the playoffs.